Seattle Shambhala’s Midsummer Day Celebration

by Stacy Hall de Gomez

JoAnn Schindler (left) and Annica Holder (right) take oaths of office and step into their roles as Seattle Shambhala Co-Directors.

On Sunday, June 23rd, our sangha came together to celebrate the summer solstice, a special day on the Shambhala calendar.  Early risers got the day started by invoking awakened energy with a lhasang (a traditional offering of juniper smoke), followed by the chanting practice of the Shambhala Sadhana and an hour of community meditation.  Next, Governing Council member Ladan Yalzadeh introduced the day’s festivities, and former Center Director Tom Gaylord gave the oath of office to our new Center Co-Directors, Annica Holder and JoAnn Schindler.  This solemn ceremony culminated in laughter, hugs, and the awarding of leadership pins, a noted Shambhala tradition.

Bodhi School members Raghav, Aarush, and Arnav pose by the flower mandala they created.

After our new Co-Directors, duly outfitted with their pins and colorful socks, addressed the assembled sangha, and Sydney Munger, Director of Practice and Education, enlightened us on upcoming programs, the community happily reconvened downstairs for a barbeque and potluck.  Everyone enjoyed the delicious food, rousing conversation, much laughter, and the gorgeous flower mandala created by the younger sangha members of our Bodhi School. Special thanks to Robin Willett, who guided and inspired the creation of the flower mandala!

As if all this were not enough, community members also took the opportunity to contribute to the Harrison House Improvement Fundraising Campaign.  Sangha member Rex Maruca made the process particularly enjoyable by donating a range of the beautiful handbags his company makes, with proceeds from all sales going to the fundraising campaign.

A good time was had by all, and the summer is off to a great start!

Finnegan Jampa Senge Happy embracing the spirit of Midsummer Day.


Sangha members gather for a potluck lunch on June 23, 2019.


Potluck lunch and celebration!

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